• Liza Young, LPC

5 Steps Towards Porn-Free Living

I want to start off by acknowledging your courage to seek information on this subject. There is so much taboo and shame surrounding it that it can be very difficult to talk about or seek information. I have zero judgements of anyone who uses porn. You are in a grace-filled zone. My desire is that you gain a better understanding of porn and its effect on you.


Is Porn Wrong?


As a Christian, I believe anything that brings other people into the sanctity of your marriage bed is unhealthy and will eventually lead to division with your spouse. If you aren’t married, I believe God’s desire is that you save all sexual goodness and fun for your future spouse. I also believe much of porn uses victims of sex trafficking and thus engaging in porn is supporting this victimization.


Having said all of that, I do not believe if you engage in porn, that you are a horrible human. You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t think, on some level, it is not good for you. There is a part of you that wants change in this area. That is so encouraging!

I believe God does not judge you, rather he sees the greatness in you and wants anything that is standing in your way to be discarded. He wants to help you in this, not punish you.

God created sex. He made it to feel good, to be exciting and for us to desire it. He also knows the heartache that can come when we choose to meet these needs and wants in unhealthy ways. He wants you to enjoy sex, let Him help you find the best way.


How do you quit porn?


Porn use has been around for ages, however it’s easier to access now which makes it far more difficult to quit. But it is doable! You are not too far gone no matter how often you engage in it. Start the following steps to begin breaking free from porn.


1. Assess if you have a compulsion or an addiction to porn.

a. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that are often engaged in to reduce anxiety. Addictions involve an inability to stop the behavior, despite negative consequences. Both involve a lack of control.

b. Some signs of porn addiction are:

i. Time spent watching porn keeps growing.

ii. You feel you need a porn fix and this could often lead to needing a higher fix through acting out sexually in other ways such as chat rooms, phone sex, prostitutes, etc.

iii. You feel guilty about the consequences of viewing porn, but you don’t stop.

iv. You spend hours on end perusing online porn sites, even if it means neglecting responsibilities or sleep.

v. You have porn-induced erectile dysfunction/premature ejaculation.

vi. You insist that your partner views porn or acts out porn fantasies even though they don’t want to.

vii. You are unable to enjoy sex without first viewing porn.

viii. You are unable to resist porn even though it’s disrupting your life


2. Identify your beliefs about porn, sex and women.

a. Age-old beliefs like, “it’s just what boys do” serve to justify the actions and necessary to discard in your own beliefs.

b. Women engage in porn and have porn addictions too and often feel an extra layer of shame due to the belief above... "it's just a boy thing".

c. What were you taught growing up and do you believe you gained a healthy or unhealthy view on sex and the opposite sex?


3. Explore your values.

a. Then get rid of anything in your life that does not line up with them.

b. Examples of values include family, honesty, loyalty, success, respect, spirituality, etc.

c. Is porn use moving you toward your goals in life and who you want to be?


4. List what in your past and present may be contributing to porn use.

a. Although there is no excuse for negative behaviors there is always a reason that is worth understanding.

i. Past trauma? Past sex abuse? Faulty views on sex and women? Feelings of insecurity and lack of worth? Immense pressure from parents growing up or work? Strain on relationships?

ii. It could be none of the above. It could be you began to watch it and it triggered the intense reward system in your brain.


5. Seek help from a professional who understands porn use and addiction.

a. A CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) therapist is often a good place to start even if it’s not an addiction.

b. A therapist can help you figure out what porn does for you and how you can get those needs met in a healthy and productive way.

c. Porn might be helping you disconnect from reality, make you feel desired, experience a high, etc. And therapy can address why you are needing this and how to heal.

d. Find a safe person (friend, pastor, family member) who will lovingly walk with you in your journey to healing.

One of the greatest things that keeps you in the porn trap is shame. The minute you begin to talk to someone about your struggle, is the minute you begin to become free from its hold on you. Shame thrives in secret; freedom thrives in the light.



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